It's possible to be highly successful in our careers AND live great lives.
Throughout my career, I managed to land dream jobs over and over again, even when I wasn't the most qualified candidate.
Over time, I learned what it took to get fast promotions, amazing raises and full bonus pay-outs every time, even though I was a woman in a male-dominated environment (without compromising my integrity).
As I moved into bigger roles with more responsibilities and pressure, I was able to figure out how to create results through my team without burning out, sacrificing what believed in, or giving up my life.
I've also made some big changes inmy career, as I've taken a step back, changed industries, moved to another country (twice!), taken a sabbatical and started my own business - even when most people around me advised me not to.
How do I know it's possible for YOU?
Every step of the way, I've managed, mentored and coached hundreds of high performers on how to do the same in their work and careers - and the tactics and strategies that worked for me, worked for them, too!
Over 10,000 people on social media and my email list look to me for support and guidance on how to navigate their work and careers, so they can live up to their full potential and my career advice has been featured in numerous publications including Business Insider, Thrive Global and ELLE.
But it wasn't always like that!
When I finished college in 2007, I was SO pumped to finally start my career journey. I was excited to start making money, apply everything I had learned at school in real life and begin the climb towards the successful career I so deeply desired.
When I looked into my future, I envisioned a career where...
I was excited to wake up on Monday mornings, ready to do interesting and meaningful work together with passionate and driven people
I was able to land jobs easily and swiftly by presenting my credentials and motivations
My hard work and can-do attitude would be rewarded through promotions and raises
I had leaders that supported me, believed in me and made it a top priority to make sure I was set up for success
When I wasn't working, I had the money and energy to do what I enjoyed
But in reality, that quickly felt like a naive dream.
Instead, what I saw in my day-to-day was:
People dreading going to work, where they did stuff they didn't care about with people they despised, counting down the days until the weekend, their next vacation or retirement - and stayed in that unhappy and unfulfilling job and organization for years... even DECADES
Qualified people who applied for and interviewed for jobs, but didn't receive offers or the salary they deserved, leading to them settling for less and being resentful or staying stuck in the wrong job
Loyal and committed people who worked hard and long hours who weren't appreciated and didn't get promoted (and backstabbers and slackers who were!!)
Managers who seemed to consider leading people as a massive downside of their job, rather than a responsibility they took seriously or a key factor in delivering stellar results
WHAT was going on here?!?
I refused to accept that new reality and that's when my lifelong quest began. By being curious and observant, I've spent the past 13 years+ asking myself:
Why are so many of us lost and confused when it comes to career direction? Why do we stay stuck in places that make us miserable? And what can we do to move forward?
What does the hiring and promotional process look like from the other side of the table and what can we do to stand out and have them happily say YES to us?
What do we really need from our managers to thrive and how can I as a leader provide my team with that?
What should I be spending my time and energy on in order to be effective and successful in my work? And how can I plan and execute my weeks to make sure I prioritize that?
And maybe the most important one:
How can I do all this without burning out or compromising what I believe in while making time for what makes me feel happy, energized and like myself?
Ever since then, I've been committed to understanding what it takes to be successful in our careers while also having a great life - because I want to live up to my full potential not just at work, but in all areas of my life.
That means not just delivering great results and being a great leader, but also feeling happy and healthy while being the best version of myself towards the people around me.
Over the years, I've read countless books. I've attended conferences and taken courses. I've journaled, meditated and gone on solo trips to spiritual places like Bali and Cambodia.
But the hands-down most important source has been... conversations. The biggest insights have come to me while meeting with people who were happy to share what they had learned and who provided the time and space for me to reflect.
It still blows my mind how these interactions so often lead to quantum leaps in my growth and understanding in such a short amount of time.
But also, those situations were few and far between...
More often than not, I felt like didn't have anyone to talk to...
I had a few great mentors, but most of the time they were very senior men who didn't seem to be faced with the same external or internal obstacles that I had, like how to handle bias or how to figure out how to navigate potential motherhood and career planning.
I had some really great bosses, but there's always that line where you need to balance transparency with being aware of how it could impact their trust in me being able to do my job.
I had some amazing and supportive peers, but they had busy lives and I always felt like I was imposing on their time and I felt icky talking too much about myself.
I had friends and family, but most of the time they couldn't really relate to my high performer tendencies or situations, leading them to project their own goals and dreams and fear and doubts on me, often leaving me feeling misunderstood and more confused than before.
I had my husband who listened, could relate and often gave great advice, but there is only so much you can talk about work struggles at home before it starts to feel like you're more business partners than romantic ones.
And then there were all the things I'd never tell anyone because it made me feel ashamed and embarrassed to even think or feel that way...
So in 2016, I decided to quit my successful career to share what I had learned and become the person I wish I'd had during my own career journey, someone:
Experienced who had walked a mile in my shoes, who knew what it's like to live with high expectations and ambitions.
I trusted would help me figure out solutions based on what was best for ME.
I could be honest with, who I knew would never shame or judge me.
Who didn't see the limitations in situations, but helped me identify opportunities.
Who didn't just tell me that my thinking, feeling and acting was "right" or "wrong", but allow me to validate my reactions instead of downplaying them and could help me gain the perspective to evaluate it on my own.
Who I could celebrate my wins with, without worrying if I was being self-indulgent and would even remind me to pause and see how far I had come, instead of powering through towards the next goal.
Who doesn't just jump to solve the problem for me, but provides a space where I can soundboard it out on my own, only providing support when needed.
Who holds me accountable for the changes I say I want to make and if I don't succeed on the first try, helps me see and understand what happened, motivating me to give it another go instead of just giving up.
All of this so YOU can be highly successful in your career while living a great life.
Anna Cosic is a former Media and Tech Executive turned Career & Leadership Coach committed to helping high performers live up to their full potential.
Anna spent 10 years as an executive in highly operational roles where success was dependent on her ability to prioritize, manage her bandwidth and create results through her team - often while being the only woman in the room.
She has always been motivated by showing others that it's possible to go far and to be exactly as successful as we want to be and in 2016 she committed to doing this full time by leaving her successful career to launch her own coaching business.
Since then, Anna has helped hundreds of ambitious men and women on all levels, from early-career professionals to CEOs, identify and implement strategies, techniques and tools to achieve success in their work and careers while living great lives.
Her leadership and career advice have been featured in numerous publications including Business Insider, Thrive Global and ELLE.
Anna has a Master's Degree in Business Administration and Management from Stockholm University. She was born in Sweden, has worked and lived all over the world and now calls Brooklyn, New York City home where she lives with her husband, five-year-old son and two pugs, Igor and Doris.